I had a chance to eat out at Student Biryani, one of the most popular Biryani restaurant in Pakistan. Before visiting Student Biryani, used to avoid eating Biryani at restaurants because I didn’t like Biryani other than my Mom makes although eating Biryani at Karachi weddings was an exception because the time the food gets available, you usually see people staking their plates due to prolong waiting turning really “Hangry”. Sounds funny doesn’t it? However, after visiting Student, my mind got changed. It was absolutely delicious and clean (By clean I mean it didn’t contain much stuff like tiny cinnamon sticks, cardamom and star anise used to create aroma). I ordered regular plate with salad and cold drink and the lunch was followed by Special Zarda (sweet rice) as a dessert which also tasted really good. I must say that my mind changed after that and I really loved the taste. So other than Mom’s cooked Biryani, Student Biryani is my favorite too now.
Well, after eating here, I began to think that Haji Muhammad Ali, the founder of the restaurant turned food franchise now had same journey as of KFC’s founder Colonel Sanders from Kentucky. Both began their journey at the age of 40 and both of them struggled in their early days ending up owning a food franchise. Talking about Colonel Sanders, he lost his father at the age of six, did numerous jobs from farmer to blacksmith, from a salesman to running a service station to feed travelers and then finally, a restaurant owner featuring his special fried chicken. Now this special fried chicken is sold and eaten worldwide.
Haji Muhammad Ali also used to run a food stall comprising of a roof made of bamboo pillars with this two sons selling biryani on a tumbler known as a Daig in local language having limited seating arrangement in the middle of Saddar, Karachi. He named it Café Student to attract students from collages and schools nearby. Now, a part from biryani, the restaurant also sells BBQ, Fast Food and even Halwa Puri for breakfast and has franchises not only all over Pakistan but in Canada, Oman, Saudi Arabia and UAE as well.
We must say that Haji Ali’s “Student” followed the “Colonel’s” footsteps quite well and both are a great example for potential entrepreneurs.